Thursday, August 27, 2009

Day 01 (round IV) "In the trenches"

Jeebus H. Sufferin' Moses on a bicycle.

We are opening the fourth iteration of "In the trenches." Well, I'm going to try to keep up with the tradition of blogging the semester, though tonight's is going to have to be a relatively short inaugural hit.

All staff in place: 4 tenure-stream musicologists; 2 tenure-stream other faculty filling loads by teaching Music Appreciation; 3 grad students serving as Instructors-of-record for History of Rock, History of Jazz, Music in Western Civ; 3 grad students serving as Teaching Assistants to instructors-of-record; 3 undergrad students serving as student assistants in the Appreciation classes.

Break in three new instructors-of-record for Appreciation courses.

Jump-start orientation session for new teaching staff.

2 iterations ("Introduction to Research and Style Analysis" and "Music as Cultural History: The Early Period") of the undergrad sequence. Grad seminars in "Music and War," "Chamber Music Literature," "Baroque Music," "Graduate Music History Review," "Topics in Ethnomusicology," and "Music in the Twentieth Century."

100 entering freshman music majors. 525 undergrad and graduate. Thirty-five entering graduate students, with music-theory and music-history placement tests to administer on Tuesday, grade on Wednesday, so they know what/whether remedial classes are needed.

More simultaneous class meetings than there are in the building, hence requiring teaching in satellite locations in the Library.

Switch, within our division, to brand-new (hoped-to-be) online room scheduling software.

Switch cross-campus to comprehensive new billing, registration, student records system, with a very steep learning curve.

Lose one Vernacular Music Center ensemble; inaugurate another.

Wave farewell to five Musicology MM/Ph.D. students (as compared to zero in past years); welcome two new ones.

Wave farewell to six players out of the Celtic Ensemble; welcome twelve more.

Inaugurate campus set-dance student organization.

Locate new site for weekly pub session.

Attend two convocations.

First band/business meeting for Celtic Ensemble.

Play two different service gigs for various "welcome back" functions.

Attend two welcome-back parties, host a third.

Three different staff/service/administrative meetings per week.

3 private lessons and 4 thesis/advising sessions per week.

Finalize 8000-word draft of review article for professional journal.

Assemble, by invitation, materials and referees for nomination to Excellence in Teaching award.


And that's just what we've already done--this week--before the end of Fall Semester 2009 Day ONE "In the trenches."

As the anonymous Confucian bureaucrat wrote, "we are cursed to live in interesting times."

However, here's the note that I sent to my staff at 3:46 this afternoon:

Dang, I am proud of you guys.
That's why we do what we do.

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